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I can’t believe it. The holidays are almost here, and for many, the hustle and bustle have already begun. If you’re anything like me, you’ve needed to plan the dinners, look at the calendar to decide on dates for the holiday gatherings, write an endless to-do list. I always make a massive one at some point in November to outline all of the shopping I need to get done and how much I’m budgeting to make it happen, and this year was no different. Then there are the dinner to-do lists. After all, everyone will hate me if I forget the stuffing or don’t have an assortment of gourmet teas. Right? Oh, and how can I ignore the random list of house chores I need to do before hosting. Gah. I’m exhausted just thinking about the multiple tasks at hand. Do I over complicate and go above and beyond what…

Ok, so in my last post – 9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for kids that AREN’T toys and that parents will LOVE, I gave you an extensive list of non-toy Christmas gift ideas, but I know some of you won’t heed my advice and will still buy toys for your munchkins. If you’re going to just ignore me, then at least buy toys they’ll actually play with longer than 15 minutes before they get bored! 1. HAPE QUADRILLA “Derived from the combination of two German words, “Quader” and “Rille”, meaning “bricks” and “slots” respectively – which are also the main components of the game – Quadrilla’s unique marble run system is “a lot like coding” (assessment from Wall Street Journal) and a perfect platform for STEAM education.” Quadrilla is a beautifully designed series of marble run sets, made from quality wood components. There are some different sets available in many different…

When I meet clients to discuss their business ideas or projects, I always start the conversation with questions that lead me to find out why they’re doing it. Why are they putting all of their time, energy and focus into chasing their dreams? It seems like a simple enough question, but quite often, people have a difficult time answering. Let me rephrase that, quite often people have a difficult time answering truthfully. You see, it’s easy to make decisions in different areas of our life for all of the wrong reasons. We choose schools and educational paths that mom and dad think are best. We dive into a career because of the social status we’ll attain by walking in those shoes. We launch businesses ventures because we’re told there’s an excellent opportunity to make income and live the life of our dreams. But in the end, are any of those…

Chronic colds. A “general feeling of unwell.” TBI. SIBO. Adrenal Fatigue. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe they’ll finally explain the brain fog, the fatigue, the reason why my sparkle is slipping between my fingers. Or maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe, the diagnosis is not the problem or even the answer. But maybe it’s a sign. Actually, let’s call it a not-so-divine warning. When was the last time you tweaked your back, and you went directly to the couch to lay down? Or you got a headache from, oh, I don’t know, too much screen time. Did you immediately shut down your laptop or did you pop an Advil and go back to work? We are not listening to our bodies. We are not heeding the very clear warning signs. At least not before it is too late. And why?! All in the name of the goddamn hustle? How have…

Imagine walking into an auditorium with hundreds of people to learn about taking better photographs with your smartphone. You hope to walk away with all kinds of tools tucked into your belt so you can tackle social media like a wizard or simply capture some of life’s greatest moments with a new feature or function. Everyone sits.  The speaker arrives. The room gets quiet. The first words out of his mouth are (and of course I am paraphrasing)… For the love of all that is good, clean your damn lens before you take a picture! Now, it would seem odd to say that this moment changed the way I take pictures, but that day, at  Adobe MAX- The Creativity Conference in sunny San Diego California, that itty bitty piece of information was worth the long trek all on its own. (Thanks team Paleoethics for the opportunity.) How many times a day…

My husband and I relocated to the United Arab Emirates in the spring. There are a ton of great things about living here, but a key perk of living in the Middle East is that it’s a central hub for travel to Europe, Africa, and Asia. In August, there is a three-day holiday, and Sri Lanka seemed an optimal choice as it’s only a four-hour flight. Our original itinerary included an elephant safari as well as some beach time on Sri Lanka’s East coast; however, through a series of unfortunate events, the airport we needed to transfer to suddenly closed which meant we needed a new itinerary.  My husband decided to cancel, and I opted to fly solo and find alternative accommodations near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. I found this great retreat online called, Earthlinks, surrounded by jungle but close to the west coast beaches which are famous for surfing…

I know it feels too early even to be thinking about holiday cards, but trust me, the next month and a half is going to sneak right by us. Before we know it, it’ll be December 8, and we’ll decide to skip the holiday card this year because we don’t have time to put something together to arrive before the holidays are over. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait to get your holiday cards ready. Networking It’s an excellent opportunity to subtly remind your friends, family, colleagues and customers of your existence. There is no easier way to remain top of mind than sending them warm wishes this season with a card tailored with your branding. This is especially true for those contacts you don’t get a chance to see very often. It’s also a great way for families to keep in touch with loved ones far away. You can say…

Hello, quiet one. I see you sitting on the sidelines. Still and silent while your friend’s rambunctious energy floods the air. You would much rather be sitting quietly reading your favourite book or drawing on blank pages, and that’s okay. People will say that you are shy and introverted. Maybe they are right, but you are much more than your discreet nature allows some to see. You are bright and curious. Intelligent and wise. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to because you have the courage of a lion. Rest assured that you don’t need to be loud to be successful. I know you can do this because you are a girl. Hello, bossy girl. Do not think I failed to notice you telling the others what to do with conviction. Some people will tell you that your decisive spirit is too much, but they are wrong. You…

The fact that it’s already September is mind-boggling. I had so many personal goals and plans that had to be put aside this summer. It was more important that my kids summer was fun and the only time I could complete anything was if they were immersed in a show or game and I couldn’t handle the guilt of them being tech zombies. I completely underestimated just how much them being home full-time would affect my ability to complete tasks. The distraction alone thwarted progress. My kids must have set a world record for how many times a person’s name can be spoken in one day. The more I tried to work on something the more they insisted they needed me. It was a clear sign that things weren’t jiving like I’d anticipated they would. There were fun moments paired with frustrating moments as we tried to figure out how…

I love the Internet. Give me a cell phone with the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter apps, and I’ll get lost for four hours (#jokingnotjoking). Do you need to know the full (and rather brief) discography of Sugar Jones? Look it up. Do you need to find out what a burst ear drum looks like (I had no idea and I’m 35)? Look it up. Do you need to understand how Keyboard Cat came to be? You do. Look it up. In fact, the first time I spoke to my boyfriend-now-husband was on ICQ (I hyperlinked that for you sweet, young things). We were in high school in the early 2000s, okay? So, basically, without the Internet, my children’s lives would never have been realized. I know, slightly dramatic. And, as much as I love the instantaneous pleasure of finding an answer several seconds after asking a question, the Internet, of…